There's no doubt that it's been long overdue for a change at the helm in Losenoidoomock, Detroit. Millen's team compiled a 31-84 record while he was in charge. Big Money Tony and I disagree yet again on many of the facts, but we both can agree that his lowly achievement as GM and President of the Lions will tarnish his reputation.
For several years Detroit fans have been calling for Millen's head on a plate and could even be seen at Red Wings games...in DC calling for Millen to be gone. It appears that his departure from the team has many fans attributing all things wrong with the Lions and placing them on the shoulders of Millen as if casting him off will take all of the problems away with him.
It's very rare for a team to have so many high draft picks year after year in the NFL. One miss can set a team back years. Although it may appear that this is a pro Millen article, it's become very clear that no one is looking past Millen why the Lions have been so bad during his tenure.
Besides jumping from the ranks of player and analyst straight into management of an NFL team, Millen had lots of help to accomplish such a lowly record. Millen often disagreed with ownerships and twice was reported to tote the company line and defer to ownership's wishes. It may sound hypocritical being a Redskins fan, but anytime an owner who interferes in a general manager's performance can't be good.
One bad pick can set a team back years. Take the drafting of Desmond Howard by the Redskins which with two wasted picks (because the Skins traded up) and started Skins downward spiral. Several years later Washington drafted Michael Westbrook and later Rod Gardner. Heath Shuler also set the Skins back as they continued to search for someone to be the future starter for a decade and with no success. We'll save the Casserly legacy for another day.
Another factor that haunted Millen was the disastrous hire of Steve Mariucci. It was difficult for many to fault Millen for not interviewing any other candidates other than Mariucci. Mariucci was sought by every team in the league with a position available. Who knew that Mariucci was riding the coat tails of the Walsh and Seifert legacy or that the players in Detroit would be running him?
Millen's had few accomplishments in Detroit and ultimately he had lots of help by coaches, players, and ownership that led to such a poor record. Ultimately it's the GM's role to supply the players and his overall draft after the first round was just as abysmal. If ownership continues to direct the new GM with such high picks the same fate could await Lions fans. Any GM's after the next one may hesitate to make a jump in their career to Detroit much like Baltimore is not a desired destination in MLB. Millen's talents as a player and analyst didn't transcend to the role of GM. Hopefully in time a network will offer Millen a role more suited to his talents and offer an analyst's role to him so NFL fans could enjoy one more talented broadcast pairings in the booth.
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